Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 30, 2003, Page 281

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News


April 1893


Gus Klopf has bought the residence owned by Mr. McCully, known as the Frank Eyerly place, on Clay Street, between the Will Marsh and L. M. Sturdevandt (Sturdevant) homes.  That is one of the best lots in town.  It has a very neat house on it, which is in good repair.  The consideration for the property was $12,000.


Anyone who has ever traveled over the Omaha railroad, from Merrillan Junction to Neillsville, will remember passing through old slashings and barren lands for six or eight miles east of Merrillan.  The land was cut over years ago by lumber-men who became wealthy from the harvest, then left the county.  They went on to other undiscovered country for more business ventures.  The cut over county lands have been considered almost worthless until quite recently. We have learned that a syndicate of wealthy gentlemen will start a colony, or settlement for some Polish people, and will build a church for them.  The tract of land composes about 26,000 acres of land and if divided into small farms, each containing a settler, the population of Clark County could be largely increased.


Chas. Foote is having lumber hauled to his fine farm, a short distance east of Neillsville, on the Pleasant Ridge road.  He plans to build a nice residence there this season.  The rock for the foundation is already on the lot.


(Present owners of the house are Mike and Pat Lacey. D. Z.)


The racetrack at the fairgrounds is being scraped and smoothed over, put in good shape for the racing trotters.


A new barn is being put up on the fairgrounds, a place to keep the race horses during the racing days. Gene Webster is in charge of that project.


A party of Danish capitalists; have purchased 30,000 acres of land, which was in the Spaulding estate, located near Withee, in Clark County.  The land will be colonized by a large number of Danes.  The settlers are to come from Eastern cities, not to be brought from across the ocean.  Many of them will come from Chicago and all, or nearly all, are more or less Americanized already.


The scheme is to divide the tract up into forty-acre farms, putting a family on each forty acres.  More land will be purchased if it can be secured at reasonable figures.  Churches, schoolhouses and other public means of civilization will be built.  An earnest effort is being made to better the conditions for the colonists who are weary of the big city life they have been leading.


Among the settlers will be Rev. A. S. Neilson, late pastor of Trinity Danish Lutheran Church in Chicago.  Rev. Neilson came to America more than 20 years ago.  For almost two decades, he has been president of the Danish Lutheran synod, resigning that office at the last meeting of that synod.  Neilson is regarded as a spiritual father, of more than ordinary power and saintliness by all Danish Lutherans in this country.  He will be guide and counselor of the new Clark County colony.


These people are industrious and progressive so the area where they are going to settle will soon blossom into prosperity.


One week from next Sunday evening, the Unitarian Sunday School children will give a concert at the new church, corner of Fifth and Clay Streets in Neillsville.


Ed Markey will go out of the saloon business at the end of the month.  He has rented his business out to Mr. Wasserberger, the harness-maker.


Hutchinson Cooperage Company is a new business at Greenwood and will employ 30 men.  All of the machinery for the business is new and has cost $15,000.


Tomorrow, April 28th, is Arbor Day in Wisconsin.  A week ago, the ground was covered with snow and the robins were wearing chest protectors.  There’s something wrong with the lapse of spring this year.


It has been truly said that most of us eat too much and sleep too little; we read too much and think too little; we work too much and enjoy too little.


April 1958


Mr. and Mrs. Oluf Olson, who were married in Colby Township, Clark County, on March 27, 1901, observed their 57th wedding anniversary on March 27, 1958 at their home in Neillsville.


Mr. Olson was born near Oslo, Norway, February 4, 1871 and came with his mother to America when he was 19 months old.  They located in Greenwood, joining his father who had preceded them to America to earn transportation for the family.  Eight months later, the family settled on a homestead located one mile north of Curtiss.  There, Oluf Olson grew to manhood, attending a rural school in the wilderness for four years. The homestead farm is now operated by Wayne Olson, a nephew of Oluf’s and who is also the son of Oluf’s youngest brother, Otto.


As a youth, Olson worked in a lumber camp, taking a man’s place from the time he was 16 years old. When he was 30, he was married to Myrtle M. Tuttle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Tuttle, at the Tuttle farm in Colby Township.  The bride was then 26 years old.


After the wedding, he took his bride to Medford, where he worked in a sawmill guiding the mill carriage from April 4 to November 13, 1901.  Then they returned to the Olson homestead, north of Curtiss.  During the next three years, Mr. and Mrs. Olson operated three different farms in Clark and Marathon Counties.  In 1907, they moved to Abbotsford, where Olson became village marshal and served as section foreman on the Ashland-Spencer railroad for seven years.


“I remember,” states Olson, “carrying a ladder around the Abbotsford business district each evening to light the oil street lights.  We didn’t have to put them out in the morning as they usually ran out of kerosene before daylight.”


“We had a jail 14 by 14 feet on the Clark County side of Abbotsford, where we usually had some drunken lumberjacks sobering up,” he continued.  “We never fined them just for being drunk but if they got to fighting, they had to pay a fine before being released from jail.  The most drunks I remember having in the jail at one time were seven.”


Four strangers came to Abbotsford during Olson’s term as marshal, remaining on the Marathon side of the village for several days and one night they tried to rob the bank in Abbotsford.  One of the robbers was apprehended at Merrillan Junction and after standing trial in Wausau, was sentenced to 10 years in the state prison.  The men had gotten into the bank without difficulty, but had been unable to get into the vault.


In 1914, the Olson family moved to Neillsville and lived nearly four years on South Hewett Street in the house now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Dahnert, just south of what was then the MacMillan residence.


During the summer of 1918, they acquired a home on Court Street in which they have since lived.  Olson took a position as building custodian of the Clark County courthouse, also serving as bailiff and deputy sheriff.  For 36 years, he served in this triple capacity.  Since 1950, he has worked as a part time employee at the courthouse and has continued as bailiff.


Mr. and Mrs. Olson are the parents of ten children, two of whom are not living.  Francis died in infancy and Robert died at the age of 25.  The living children are: Mrs. Maynard (Ellen) Johnson, who is teaching in the Wausau School system; Mrs. David (Barbara) Daniel of Cambria; Mrs. Ewald (Sarah) Schwarze, Greenwood; Gilbert, Rice Lake; Mrs. Albert (Fern) Holt and Kenneth of Neillsville; Mrs. Lowell (Mildred) Dorn, Abbotsford and Oluf, Jr., of Wisconsin Rapids.  They also have 26 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


The Oluf and Myrtle Olson family photo, taken 1917-1918


What will be next?


That is the question that had District Attorney Wayne W. Trimberger and Sheriff Ray Kutsche was pondering while scratching their heads after a report received Monday morning. 


It concerned a new type of automotive recreation – pleasure cruising on a railroad track! 


R. D. Boyington, a special investigator for the Soo Line railroad, told Kutsche about the car venture.  He said two young men, 21 and 22 years old, had admitted to him taking a car for a Sunday “spin” on the main and spur tracks of the Soo Line. 


It was the first time such a pleasure cruise had come to official attention in Clark County, although such reports had been heard of in the Green Bay vicinity recently.


Here’s how this pleasant game of Railroad Roulette goes:


The wide, low pressure tires of late model cars are deflated a little more than normally.  Then the car is driven onto railroad tracks at a road crossing, where the roadbeds are built up to equal height.  The wide, soft tires roll around the sides of the rails, holding the car on the tracks in a tenuous grip.


The car then will ride the rails without guidance.  In fact to touch the steering wheel would be to court disaster by deflecting the vehicle from the rails.


Two young men, Investigator Boyigton (Boyington) told Mr. Trimberger, admitted to traveling at speeds of 50 miles per hour on their pleasure drive of Sunday, March 30.


They made two runs on Soo Line tracks, totaling between nine and 10 miles.  First, they took the spur track from near Veefkind to Spokeville, southeast of Loyal, a distance of about three miles.  Then, with this experience behind them, they drove to Spencer and Riplinger, a distance of about seven miles.


The thing that puts this newest of automobile escapades in the class with Russian roulette played with railroads is that one never knows when a train might loom on the track bearing down on them for a head-on crash.


The two young men, who tried it, just missed a mainline freight by a matter of minutes.


The formal designation of a ballpark and playground area; as well as the opening of a section around it on the north side for residential expansion; were voted on by the Neillsville city council Tuesday evening.


The property involved is bordered by 12th and 15th Streets on the south and north and by Lynch Street, and extension of Willow Street as it lays south of O’Neill Creek, on the east. 


A swarm of congregation members razed the old Zion Lutheran parish hall, in Granton last week, a building believed to be more than 100 years old, as a preliminary to the construction of a new church on the Mapleworks corner.


The new church, for which groundbreaking ceremonies are tentatively planned for the first Sunday in May, will be situated diagonally across the large Mapleworks corner lot.  It will be of brick construction, 97 by 41 feet, with basement.  The entrance will face the corner, being located on the southeast end of the building.


With an estimated cost of $100,000, the congregation has already raised between $35,000 and $40,000, in cash for the project.  Much of the building expense will be eliminated with the donation of work to be done by its members.  A Wisconsin Rapids architectural firm has designed the structure and the building committee has Richard Hillert as its chair-man and Clarence Pannier as the secretary.


On the location of the parish hall, more commonly referred to as the “Ladies Aid building,” will be a large parking lot.  The present church building will probably be remodeled for other use; but those plans are indefinite.


The old building, one of the historical landmarks of the Mapleworks corner, will provide form materials for the new church.  Beautiful pine lumber was in it, all clear wood, some of the boards measured two feet and more in width; all was like nothing available today.


The members who tackled the dismantling with hammers, crowbars and plenty of vigor were: Erland Dahl, Bob Elmhorst, Elmer Elmhorst, Fred Elmhorst, Alfred Foemmel, Ed Garbisch, Martin Garbisch, Ronnie Garbisch, Dick Harlin, Richard Hillert, Clarence Pannier, Oswald Pischer, Lee Reich, Allen Reisner, Ed Schlinsog, Paul Schlinsog, Robert Schlinsog, Ervin Sternitzky and Otto Sternitzky.


The main portion of the structure originally stood on the location of the present Hugo Trimberger house.  At that time, Mapleworks was the area settlement and there was no Granton.


In 1890, the building was moved across the street to its later location.  For a time, the Zion congregation, which is a member of the Missouri Synod, used it as a residence for the church schoolteacher.  In more recent years it has been used as the parish hall.


Currently without a pastor, the congregation is setting the stage for their new pastor to step into the middle of a tremendous amount of work.  The Rev. Lawrence Schreiber, coming here from Glidden, will be installed as the pastor, at services held on Sunday, April 27.


William Seif and Corliss Harriman both of Chili and Eddie Zschernitz and Ray Rodreguz, both of Marshfield, left Sunday afternoon for a smelt fishing trip, near Ashland.  Zschernitz, who left the group to go to the car, became stuck in quicksand.


Realizing that he could not free himself and sensing he was sinking deeper as he struggled, he finally called for help.


Before his friends were able to free him, two pairs of shoes were lost.


Ed Francis, who started barbering in Neillsville about 34 years ago, will retire from active work when he closes shop Saturday afternoon.


He started in 1924, working under the late Harry White and worked with him for about a year, when he purchased the Fred Neverman barbershop on October 25, 1925.  The shop then was located in the building now occupied by the A&P store.


In 1933, Francis, and Harold Pischer entered into partnership, where he worked, with the exception of a few wartime years.  In 1945, he purchased the present building on East Sixth Street and remodeled it into a barbershop and apartments.




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